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見義勇為 means the courage to do what is right in Chinese.
This could also be translated as “Never hesitate to do what is right.”
This comes from Confucian thought:
Your courage should head in an honorable direction. For example, you should take action when the goal is to attain a just result as, without honorable intent, a person’s gutsy fervor can easily lead them astray.
One who flaunts courage but disregards justice is bound to do wrong; someone who possesses courage and morality is destined to become a hero.
Some text above paraphrased from The World of Chinese - The Character of 勇
義を見てせざるは勇なきなり is a Japanese proverb that means “Knowing what is right and not doing is a want of courage.”
I've also seen it translated as:
To see what is right, yet fail to do so, is a lack of courage.
To know righteousness, but take no action is cowardice.
You are a coward if you knew what was the right thing to do, but you did not take action.
Knowing what is right without practicing it betrays one's cowardice.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Courage in the face of Fear
勇敢 is about courage or bravery in the face of fear.
You do the right thing even when it is hard or scary. When you are courageous, you don't give up. You try new things. You admit mistakes. This kind of courage is the willingness to take action in the face of danger and peril.
勇敢 can also be translated as braveness, valor, heroic, fearless, boldness, prowess, gallantry, audacity, daring, dauntless, and/or courage in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This version of bravery/courage can be an adjective or a noun. The first character means bravery and courage by itself. The second character means “daring” by itself. The second character emphasizes the meaning of the first but adds the idea that you are not afraid of taking a dare, and you are not afraid of danger.
勇敢 is more about brave behavior and not so much the mental state of being brave. You'd more likely use this to say, “He fought courageously in the battle,” rather than “He is very courageous.”
理直氣壯 is a Chinese proverb that means “to do something while knowing you’re in the right.”
This can also be translated as and is appropriate when you are:
“In the right and self-confident”
“Bold and confident with justice on one's side”
“Having the courage of one's convictions”
“Justified and forceful”
“To be confident and vigorous because reason and logic are on one's side”
“Justified and confident”
Honor Does Not Allow Second Thoughts
義無反顧 is a Chinese proverb that can be translated in a few different ways. Here are some examples:
Honor does not allow one to glance back.
Duty-bound not to turn back.
To pursue justice with no second thoughts.
Never surrender your principles.
This proverb is about the courage to do what is right without questioning your decision to take the right and just course.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Courage to do what is right||見義勇為|
|jiàn yì yǒng wéi|
jian4 yi4 yong3 wei2
jian yi yong wei
|chien i yung wei
|Courage To Do What Is Right||義を見てせざるは勇なきなり||giomitesezaruhayuunakinari|
|勇敢||yuu kan / yuukan / yu kan||yǒng gǎn / yong3 gan3 / yong gan / yonggan||yung kan / yungkan|
|Engage with Confidence||理直氣壯|
|lǐ zhí qì zhuàng|
li3 zhi2 qi4 zhuang4
li zhi qi zhuang
|li chih ch`i chuang
li chih chi chuang
|yì wú fǎn gù|
yi4 wu2 fan3 gu4
yi wu fan gu
|i wu fan ku
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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